Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
|Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Karan Johar|
|Produced by||Hiroo Yash Johar
|Written by||Karan Johar
|Starring||Shah Rukh Khan
|Edited by||Sanjay Sankla|
|Distributed by||Dharma Productions
Yash Raj Films
|Release date(s)||11 August 2006|
|Running time||192 minutes|
|Budget||500 million (US$8.3 million)|
|Box office||1.13 billion (US$19 million)|
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (English: Never Say Good Bye), also known as KANK, is a 2006 Indian romantic drama musical film directed by Karan Johar and produced under the Dharma Productions banner. Released on 11 August 2006 in India and North America, it stars Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukerji in the lead roles, while Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan, and Kirron Kher play pivotal supporting roles. Arjun Rampal also makes a special appearance in the film.
Set and mostly taking place in New York City, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna explores themes of adultery and extramarital affairs. It was a success internationally especially in the United States. It became the highest grossing Indian film of all time overseas at the time of its release. The film was screened in over 1,200 cinemas worldwide, grossing a worldwide total of 1.13 billion (US$19 million).
It was shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival. The script received recognition by a number of critics and was invited to be included in the library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Dev Saran (Shah Rukh Khan) is a successful soccer player in the United States. He lives in New York with his wife Rhea (Preity Zinta), a fashion magazine editor, his young son Arjun and his mother Kamaljeet a.k.a Kamal (Kirron Kher). Maya (Rani Mukerji) is an orphan who is to marry her closest childhood friend Rishi Talwar (Abhishek Bachchan). The two have been raised by Rishi's fun-loving father Samarjeet a.k.a. Sam (Amitabh Bachchan). Dev encounters Maya moments before she is to marry Rishi, and the two have a deep conversation about love, life and happiness. Although Dev and Maya are strangers, they connect instantly. When Dev bids Maya goodbye, she tells him they should never say goodbye because it kills the possibility of meeting again. Moments after they part, Dev is hit by a car and permanently injures his leg; as a result, he is no longer able to play soccer.
Four years later Dev is now extremely bitter – first because of his inability to play soccer and second because Rhea is very successful in her career, making Dev feel inferior. Maya is in a similar situation: she has found that she is infertile and does not feel any love towards Rishi because she believes he is selfish. The two couples meet and quickly become friends. When Dev and Maya witness Sam and Kamal embracing at a flower shop, they confront them about it. Sam and Kamal explain that having both lost their spouses, they understand each other and have decided to help one another through their loneliness by means of friendship. Dev and Maya notice each other's marriages failing miserably and, taking into account what Sam and Kamal said, they decide that they need to help each other save their marriages. They meet every day for coffee and discuss their situations and advice each other in understanding their respective spouses better. Eventually, Dev and Maya decide to take a break from the stress of their respective relationships and spend some quality time together. In doing so, they find themselves drawn to one another.
After celebrating their wedding anniversaries, both couples have an argument. Rhea accuses Dev of being jealous of her professional success and Rishi resents Maya's disability to have children. Upset, Maya arrives at the train station and finds Dev, who after a confrontation finally confesses that he has fallen in love with Maya, and so has she. Sam and Kamal, after noticing the failing marriages of their respective children, set up Rhea and Rishi into talking to each other about their marriages. Rhea and Rishi realise they need to stop arguing with their spouses and reach out to them. For a while, both marriages seem to be fine; however, Dev and Maya begin an affair, as they are happier with each other. The two couples attend a ballet show, where Dev and Maya try making each other jealous by showing affection to their partners. The next day, they realise what they are doing is wrong but nevertheless give in to their love and sleep together.
Sam invites the Sarans to dinner to celebrate Kamaljeet's birthday. Here, Dev 'jokingly' admits he loves Maya; Sam is the only one who realises that Dev was being serious. Shortly afterward, Dev and Maya are caught in an embrace outside the train station by Sam and Kamal. Sam has a heart attack; on his deathbed, he advises Maya to leave Rishi, as neither of them is happy in the relationship and never will be. After Sam's death, Dev and Maya decide they must end their relationship and go back to their respective spouses, but must tell them the truth first about their extramarital affair. Shocked and heart-broken, Rhea and Rishi decide they have had enough and divorce their spouses. Dev and Maya lie to each other and say that they have managed to sort things out with their spouses, believing they'll never meet again.
Three years have passed since their last encounter with each other. Dev and Maya now live alone miserably, and have not seen each other. Rishi visits Maya and says that he has fallen in love again and is remarrying, and wants Maya to be his best man, to which she agrees. Rhea, having also been invited, arrives at Rishi's wedding with her boss Jay (Arjun Rampal in a cameo), whom she is now dating. Rhea learns that Rishi and Maya are divorced – Rishi learns the same about Dev and Rhea. Maya is encouraged by Rishi and Rhea to go to Dev, who is leaving for Toronto by train, as they have both moved on and believe Maya should find her true love. At the station, Dev sees Maya but tries to avoid her, believing she is still with Rishi. However, Maya finds him just as the train leaves. Dev pulls the emergency stop and arrives back at the station. He learns that Maya has also been divorced and alone in these three years. They finally find happiness with their love and decide to start a new life together. At the end, Dev narrates that love should be the only foundation of marriage but it shouldn't be at the expense of hurting others.
- Shah Rukh Khan as Dev Saran
- Rani Mukerji as Maya Talwar
- Amitabh Bachchan as Samarjeet Singh Talwar
- Abhishek Bachchan as Rishi Talwar
- Preity Zinta as Rhea Saran
- Kirron Kher as Kamaljeet Saran
- Arjun Rampal as Jai (special appearance)
- Ahsaas Channa as Arjun Saran (Rhea and Dev's son)
- Kajol as a special appearance in song "Rock 'n' Roll Soniye"
- John Abraham as a special appearance during song "Where's The Party Tonight?" as the DJ
- Karan Johar as a special appearance (train passenger in last sequence)
- Ritesh Deshmukh as Mr.Narang (deleted scene)
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna was directed and written by Karan Johar who collaborated with Shibani Bathija to write the screenplay, and Niranjan Iyengar produced the dialogue. Produced by Dharma Productions, the soundtrack was performed by the musical trio, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy with lyrics written by Javed Akhtar. Farah Khan was brought in to organise the choreographical aspects of the film, with costume designer Manish Malhotra, production designer Sharmishta Roy and MAC cosmetics all playing a role in production.
Kajol was initially offered the role of Maya Talwar. When she refused, the role was passed on to her cousin Rani Mukerji, who was supposed to play Preity Zinta's part. However, Kajol made a guest appearance in the song "Rock 'N Roll Soniye." Ritesh Deshmukh also had a guest appearance, but his scene was cut during the editing process.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna is set in New York City, while many of the scenes were filmed nearby in East Hartford and New Haven in Connecticut. The soccer game scene was filmed at Rentschler Field, the home of the UConn Huskies football team. In several scenes, a light 'UConn' can be seen on the field. The majority of the Grand Central Station scenes were filmed at New Haven's Union Station and Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. It was filmed over a 90-day shooting period in the USA but a few scenes were shot on four large sets in Mumbai studios.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, with a multi-star cast, premiered on 12 August 2006 and was screened in over 1,200 cinemas worldwide.
According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) originally gave the film an R rating because of language and some sexual content. It was re-rated PG-13 on appeal.
On its release the film received generally positive reviews. Critic Taran Adarsh described the subject matter as a delicate one which could have easily been disastrous and praised the way in which director Karan Johar boldly constructed the film, citing it as his finest work to date. Adarsh approved in particular of the script and the devices the director incorporated to contrast emotions between scenes, remarking that, "the screenplay balances the two extremes; light moments and dollops of emotions with amazing ease". The individual cast performances were also praised by Adarsh, who commented on the effectiveness of the casting and the interaction of the actors.
Rajeev Masand gave the film 4 out of 5 stars praising the screenplay and Johar direction, he said "Few writers have such solid control over their screenplay as Karan Johar does. Few understand the intricacies of narrative as well as he does. Johar goes from highs to lows, from plateaus to peaks with the ease of a pro. He knows exactly how to turn a seemingly ordinary scene into something special with just that one line of dialogue, or that hint of background music."
Derek Elley of Variety also praised the diversity of emotions displayed by the cast, remarking that, "scripter Shibani Bathija never lets her characters inhabit a secure emotional place for very long, and impediments to happiness come from their own weaknesses rather than social constraints or plot-generated misunderstandings". Elley noted Amitabh Bacchan's performance as an ageing lothario and praised Preity Zinta as "stepping far beyond her makeup".
Critics such as Rachel Fernandes of Bollywoodmantra.com praised the soundness of the script and the cinematography of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and the way Anil Mehta took full advantage of the location in New York City and uses the skyscrapers and parks in various points to accommodate the changing emotional balance in the dialogue. Fernandes described the music and the choreography as refreshing but criticised the length of the film and certain scenes which she believed were not very convincing to the audience. She highlighted the scene where Shahrukh and Rani meet each other after their initial meeting in particular, commenting that, "there's too much of weird drama of the black beast which doesn't quite fit in".
Raja Sen of rediff.com was particularly critical of the film, also expressing dissatisfaction with its length. He remarked, "I feel older. A showing of Karan Johar's mammoth 22-reel Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna has left me unbelievably exhausted. I walked out of the hall feeling my cheeks for stubble, wondering if my clothes are suddenly dated and my hair's grey. I've lost a sizeable chunk of my life, and you will too". Unlike other critics he identified flaws in the script and criticised the strength of characters saying "The characters are cardboard, the setting is glitzy, the songs are tiresome, and the story oscillates between high melodrama and slapstick hilarity, going nowhere. Rarely has a weak script relied so completely on pretty people with big names to carry every line through".
In the United States the film received a number of generally positive reviews. Critics such as Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times emphasised the larger-than-life nature of the film, remarking that, "It is full of big Bollywood stars and outsized everything: the rainstorms are a little rainier than real life; the wind machines are cranked up an extra notch; the close-ups get closer and linger longer than usual; the coincidences that drive the plot are a little more numerous and unlikely than normal screenwriting allows". He praised the humour in the script and the director's comic timing in certain scenes such as the children's soccer match, the bed store, and at the opera.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna saw a record opening at many cities in India and generated 600 million in the first week itself, although it is currently Johar's lowest-grossing film according to net collections, even if unadjusted for inflation. The film was declared a 'hit' by Box Office India. It was a major success in the overseas market, receiving an All-Time Blockbuster status. It emerged the highest grosser worldwide for an Indian film, surpassing Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham's five-year-old record. The film is currently the seventh highest grosser overseas with a total gross of $10 million.
It opened strongly in the United States and the United Kingdom with first weekend grosses of $1.3 million in the U.S and $1.4 million (£750,000) in the UK In total Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna collected US$3,275,444 in the United States while in UK it netted over £5,079,688.00. In the US, one factor contributing to its success was the fact it debuted in 64 theatres, unusually high for a Bollywood film in cities with lower Indian populations such as Miami, Tampa, and Raleigh as well. The film's total worldwide gross is of 1.13 billion.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna received a number of awards and a high number of nominations. At the Filmfare Awards in 2007, Abhishek Bachchan won the Best Supporting Actor award. It was nominated for 10 other awards, including Filmfare Best Film Award, Best Director (Karan Johar), Best Actor (Shahrukh Khan), Best Actress (Rani Mukerji), Best Supporting Actor (Amitabh Bachchan), Best Supporting Actress (Preity Zinta), Best Music Director (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy), Best Lyrics (Javed Akhtar for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna") Best Male Playback (Sonu Nigam for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna") and Best Female Playback (Alka Yagnik for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna").
At the Global Indian Film Awards in 2006, the film won two awards, with Abhishek Bachchan garnering an award for Best Supporting Actor and Alka Yagnik winning Best Female Playback for the song "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna". Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna was nominated for nine other awards including Best Film, Best Actor (Shahrukh Khan), Best Actress (Rani Mukerji), Best Supporting Actor (Amitabh Bachchan), Best Supporting Actress (Preity Zinta), Best Music Director (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) Best Male Playback (Shafqat Amanat Ali for "Mitwa" and Sonu Nigam for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna") and Best Choreographer (Farah Khan for "Where's The Party Tonight").
At the IIFA Awards in 2007, Rani Mukerji won the IIFA Best Actress Award. The film was nominated for eight other awards including Best Movie, Best Director (Karan Johar), Best Actor (Shahrukh Khan), Best Supporting Actor (Abhishek Bachchan), Best Music Director (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy), Best Lyricist (Javed Akhtar for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna"), Best Male Playback (Sonu Nigam for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna") and Best Female Playback (Alka Yagnik for "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna").
At the Stardust Awards in 2007, Abhishek Bachchan won a further award for Best Supporting Actor and the film was nominated for four other awards including the Stardust Dream Director Award (Karan Johar), Star of the Year – Male (Shahrukh Khan), Star of the Year – Female (Rani Mukerji) and Preity Zinta receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination.
Zinta won the award in this category at the AIFA Awards, with Abhishek Bachan scooping another award for Best Supporting Actor and Javed Akhtar winning the award for Best Lyricist for "Mitwa." At the Star Screen Awards in 2007, Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukerji won the Star Screen Award Jodi No. 1 whilst Amitabh Bachchan received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
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- Bollywoodmantra.com by Rachel Fernandes, Retrieved 31 January 2008
- "Rediff.com". KANK is an exhausting film by Raja Sen. 11 August 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
- Genzlinger, Neil (12 August 2006). "New York Times". Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, a Bollywood Divorce Tale by Neil Genzlingler. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
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- Official Website: Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
- Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna at the Internet Movie Database
- Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna at Box Office Mojo